This study deals with non-specialists' conceptualizations of language areas in Italy within the framework of perceptual dialectology. Drawing on an empirical survey of university students from northeastern Italy, it can be shown that the informants have clear and mutually shared ideas of the language areas in Italy. While a first analysis is concentrated on the labels that informants assign to the linguistic areas, a second analysis is dedicated to the geographic delimitations of the labeled areas (the informants' "mental maps"). It turns out that the mentally represented areas only match the dialect areas established by Italian dialectology when the dialect-area borders correspond to the borders of historical and administrative regions that are well known among Italians who have completed secondary education. In effect, the areas identified by the informants are not really dialect areas at all, but rather regional-language areas in the specific sense of the word "regione" or 'region'. These regional languages are associated with specific cultural identities and form part of Italians' general knowledge. Therefore, talking about regional languages to a large extent means talking about cultural facts, not necessarily about linguistic features.
|Titolo:||L'immagine mentale dell'Italia linguistica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|